Biblical and Modern History of Iraq

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Biblical and Modern History of Iraq

Iraq is the modern name for an area often referred to in the Bible. It lies along the southren Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Various names which refer to protions of the area are: Shinar (Gen. 10:10; 11:2 and 14:1 & 9);

Babal (Gen. 10:10 & 11:9) Erech, Accad and Calneh (Gen. 10:10); Assyria (Gen 10:11); Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen (Gen. 10:11); Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11:31 and 15:7); Ellasar and Elam (Gen. 14:1 & 9) and Mesopotamia (Gen. 24:10 - although the place to which Abraham's servant went is not part of Iraq the southern portion of Mesopotamia is). Later Assyria (2 Ki. 15:19ff; Babylon 17:24ff) and Chaldea (Job 1:17 and Jer. 50:10ff) were portions of what is now Iraq. The area played important roles in the histories of Israel and Judah.

It is interesting to note that the first usage of the word war in the Bible (Gen. 14:2) is connected with the kings of Shinar, Ellasar and Elam (places which are now part of Iraq) coming and defeating the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar. Lot, Abraham's nephew, was taken captive. Abraham (Abram) pursued and defeated the plundering army. Teturning from the battle, Melchizedek supplied Abram food and drink. Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe (Gen. 14:18 - 21).

Around 550 B.C. the Medes and Persians added the area to their empire (Dan. 5:31). Alexander the Great siezed the area in 331 B.C. When Alexander died, the area came under the rule of Selucus and was a part of the Selucid Kingdom until it became a part of the Roman Empire in 115 B.C.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Arab armies conquered the area about 637 A.D. (the term Arab originally referred to nomadic tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. It came to refer to those who speak the Arabic language and that became the language of Moslem culture. Today it refers to a group of nations which share a common political interest across the top to Africa and in western Asia.). Bagdad, which now is the capitol of Iraq, was the capitol of the Arab Empire from 750 to 1258 A.D.

The Mongols from central Asia invaded and destroyed Bagdad.

In 1534 the Ottoman Turks made the area part of their empire. During World War I the British took it from the Ottoman Turks. After that war, it was a British mandated area. In 1921 they helped the leaders form a government. The leaders elected a king and took the name Iraq. Independence with British military protection was granted in 1932.

During World War II, army officers wanted Iraq to join the Axis, but the British sent in troops and drove the pro-Axis leaders out of the country. Then in 1943 Iraq declared war on the Axis.

In 1948 Iraq, along with other members of the Arab League, fought to prevent the creation of an Israli state. In the 1950s the Iraqi government obtained half the profits from oil production. In 1958 a revolution overthrew the government, killed the king, declared Iraq a republic and reversed Iraq's pro-west stand.

The Kurds rebelled in 1961. In 1963 a military revolt overthrew the government. In 1968 the government again was overthrown and a military government set up. In 1970 an agreement with the Kurds ended their on-again off-again fighting.

Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979. During the 80s, he successfully waged a war against Iran that lasted 5 years and in August of 1990 Iraqi troops invaded and occupied Kuwait. In January, 1991 the legislatures of the United States government authorized the president to engage in war against Iraq to liberate Kuwait and a multi-nation military strike, led by the United States, was launched against Iraq.

Iraq claims historical territorial rights to Kuwait. However, until 1710, when members of the Arab Anaiza tribe settled there, inhabitants were scarce. During the mid 1700s the head of the Sabah family was elected ruler. British interest and influence in Kuwait dates to 1775. Kuwait became independent in 1961. When Kuwait elected its ruler the area that is now Iraq was a part of the Ottoman Turk Empire. Neither the kingdom nor republic of Iraq ever controlled the territory that Kuwait occupies.

Written during gulf war by Fred Shewmaker, February 17, 1991

This is neither to approve nor disapprove the war with Iraq. It is not a delving into politics. It is an effort to present a true historical picture of a part of the biblical world which has been very much in the front page news of our day. Read Romans 13:1 - 7. God remains in control. Fred Shewmaker, 2003

Iraq In The Bible
by David L. Brown, Ph.D.

Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But, do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq, means country with deep roots. Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible. Here's why:

  1. Eden was in Iraq -- Genesis 2:10-14
  2. Adam & Eve were created in Iraq. Genesis 2:7-8
  3. Satan made his first recorded appearance in Iraq. Genesis 3:1-6
  4. Noah built the ark in Iraq.
  5. Nimrod established Babylon & the Tower of Babel was built in Iraq. Genesis 10:8-9; 11:1-4
  6. The confusion of the languages took place in Iraq. Genesis 11:5-11
  7. Abraham came from a city in Iraq. Genesis 11:31; Acts 7:2-4
  8. Isaac's bride came from Iraq. Genesis 24:3-4,10
  9. Jacob Spent 20 years in Iraq and met Rachel there. Genesis 27:42-45; 31:38
  10. The first world Empire was in Iraq. Daniel 1:1-2; 2:36-38
  11. The greatest revival in history was in a city in Iraq. Jonah 3
  12. The events of the book of Esther took place in Iraq.
  13. The book of Nahum was a prophecy against a city in Iraq.
  14. Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq.
  15. Assyria which is in Iraq conquered the ten tribes of Israel.
  16. Amos cried out in Iraq!
  17. Babylon which is in Iraq destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC
  18. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq!
  19. The 3 Hebrew children were in the furnace of fire in Iraq (Daniel)
  20. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the "writing on the wall" inIraq.
  21. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.
  22. Ezekiel preached in Iraq.
  23. The wise men were from Iraq. (where are the "wise" men today?)
  24. Peter preached in Iraq.
  25. The book of Revelation has prophecies against Babylon, which was the old name for the nation of Iraq. Revelation 17; 18
  26. No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq.



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